PERSPECTIVE: Most Investors See Finances on Track in 2018

by Joseph Matthews Confidence in achieving financial goals is solidly on the positive side of the spectrum, according to a recent survey, with a significant majority of those surveyed reporting that they are on track, progressing in their desired direction.

A Morgan Stanley poll of high net worth investors revealed that 91 percent of investors surveyed believe they are on track to achieving their long-term financial goals. About 35 percent see saving for retirement as their top goal, with 33 percent most interested in transitioning wealth to the next generation – and the remaining 32 percent working to pay off a mortgage.[1]

In what could be a major statement of confidence in the future, 88 percent of Millennials, nationally, said they believe they are on track to reach their long-term goals. Interestingly, Millennials’ priorities also include saving for retirement, with 44 percent placing that objective as their top priority. But their number two and three goals swap places with many older respondents with 42 percent of Millennials preferring to pay off a mortgage, and 35 percent listing paying for a child or a grandchild’s education. [2]

While it is difficult to say what has led to this sentiment, there are a few factors to consider regarding the Connecticut economy in particular. The state added 6,000 jobs in December, pushing year-end totals to 7,700.[3] Even manufacturing jobs increased over the year, while the largest gain came in the professional and business services category.[4]

Meanwhile, nationally, 77 percent of those polled in the Morgan Stanley survey said they expected improvement in their various state economies over the next year, and 87 percent said they expected the same for their local economies.[5]

However, when it came to their personal finances, 88 percent of those surveyed said they wish they started to save for their overall financial goals much sooner.[6]

So, despite the fact that the future is looking good in the eyes of most investors surveyed, it remains key to keep financial goals in mind. It is never too earlier to plan for the future. And, I believe, it is never too late to try to begin to make up for the years when funds might not have been earmarked for longer term financial goals.

As well, I believe that the seemingly ongoing bullish stock market should not cause an investor to shy away, believing the financial train has already left the station. Of course, while there certainly are no guarantees that this market trend will continue, there remain solid opportunities to selectively add equities to one’s portfolio – as long as long-term goals are kept in mind and the portfolio remains properly diversified.

Balance remains the watchword. That means proper balance of risk, as well as proper balance of the various types of investments in a portfolio.

So, if the stock market continues to go up or if it should pull back from record highs, each investor should feel confident that, over time, there is a plan in place that will help you achieve your financial goals.


Joseph Matthews is a Financial Advisor with the Wealth Management Division of Morgan Stanley in Fairfield. He can be reached at 203-319-5165 or by email at




The information contained in article is not a solicitation to purchase or sell investments. Any information presented is general in nature and not intended to provide individually tailored investment advice. The strategies and/or investments referenced may not be suitable for all investors as the appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor's individual circumstances and objectives. Investing involves risks and there is always the potential of losing money when you invest. Morgan Stanley and its Financial Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice. The views expressed herein are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect the views of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, or its affiliates. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, LLC, member SIPC.


[1] Morgan Stanley Investor Pulse Poll 8; CRC # 1960216 (12/17)

[2] Morgan Stanley Investor Pulse Poll 8; CRC # 1960216 (12/17)



[5] Morgan Stanley Investor Pulse Poll 8; CRC # 1960216 (12/17)

[6] Morgan Stanley Investor Pulse Poll 8; CRC # 1960216 (12/17)